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According to recent reviews, sports nutrition has developed primarily through self-experimentation (1,2). The diets of competitive endurance runners, cyclists, and swimmers have been studied in relation to training and race performance (1-8). The studies identify three major problems facing endurance athletes. They are: (a) loss of nutrients, such as iron and zinc, resulting from strenuous exercise (1,2,7,8); (b) inadequate caloric intake because of unusual eating habits or poor food selection caused by rigorous training schedules and limited time for eating (4,8); and (c) increased nutrient requirements, e.g., for B-complex vitamins (1,6-8).
Dietary surveys were mailed to all participants in the 1985 United States Triathlon Series (USTS) National Championships at Hilton Head, SC, the 1985 Hawaiian Ironman Championships in Kona, HI, and the 1986 Double Ironman Triathlon Race held in Huntsville, AL. Finish times for the events ranged from 2 to 4 hours at Hilton Head 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike, and 10-km run), 8.5 to 17 hours for the ironman 3.9-km swim, 180.2-km bike, and 42.2-km run), and 22.5 to 36 hours for the Double Ironman 7.8-km swim, 360-km bike, and 84-km run).
All entrants who properly completed the dietary surveys (no. = 82) were included in the study The sample included 24 participants (10 men, 14 women) from Hilton Head, 50 participants (31 men, 19 women) from the Hawaiian Ironman, and 8 …